Ten of the 12 Marmion wrestlers who entered the Dvorak Tournament at Machesney Park Harlem this past weekend were place-winners.
"Everybody scored points for us. That was a big accomplishment and we're very happy with that," Cadets coach Ryan Cumbee said.
"Everything is preparation for the big state tournament, and this is a great test, being one of the toughest tournaments in Illinois."
Senior 126-pounder Johnny Jimenez, a St. Charles resident, paced the Cadets' third-place team finish with a breezy run to the title. He scored two technical falls and two major decisions in his four bouts, including a major-decision victory against Glenbard North's Jon Marmolejo in the title match.
Jimenez, a Wisconsin recruit who is pursuing his fourth state title, entered the weekend with three losses as the Cadets continue a daunting schedule that includes challenging tournaments throughout the midwest.
"The kid's not used to losing," Cumbee said, "so for him to come back and dominate the way he did at Dvorak was quite impressive."
Marmion's other top placers included runners-up Anthony Bosco (113) and Nathan Traxler (182) and third-place finishers Trace Carello (152) and Nick Ferraro (170).
The Cadets still are waiting to field a full lineup. Talented sophomore Riley DeMoss is out for the season, while classmates Mikey Callahan (132) and Lucas Warren (220) also are working back from injuries.
Hello, old friendSaturday's dual between visiting Kaneland and Plano will reunite Knights coach Monty Jahns with former assistant and pupil Jeremy Kenny.
Jahns presumably transferred control of the program to Kenny, a fellow former Knight, when Jahns retired as coach in March. Kenny later was recommended and accepted as Jahns' successor, but ultimately left for an opportunity as a three-sport Plano assistant (football, wrestling, track) when he gained full-time employment in District 88.
Jahns returned to Kaneland's mat room and has said he does not intend to remain as coach beyond this season.
Semper fightGeneva junior 170-pounder Austin Chaon has tangled with a few former Vikings during winter break, as high school, college and military intercessions overlap.
Yes, one of Chaon's recent practice partners is Geneva alumnus Mike Villanueva, now a Marine.
"Oh, yeah. He's a lot more built than he was," Chaon said. "He doesn't look too different [otherwise]."
Nick Bradberry, older brother of Vikings 182-pounder Mitch, also has been back in the mat room.
IN THE GROOVE
Justin DiddellKaneland, Sr., 285 poundsWhat he did: Diddell finished fifth in his weight class at Palatine's Berman Classic over the weekend.
Johnny JimenezMarmion, Sr., 126 poundsWhat he did: Jimenez rolled to the title at Maschesney Park Harlem's Dvorak Tournament over the weekend, helping the Cadets to a third-place team finish.
WHAT WE LEARNED LAST WEEKSt. Charles East made a worthwhile switch. Traditional participants in Palatine's Berman Classic on the last weekend in December, the Saints opted for the Dvorak Tournament at Machesney Park Harlem in a bid to gain deeper seasoning for next month's state series. East coach Jason Potter called the move an investment for the future from the start, but the team's present at Dvorak wasn't too shabby. The Saints' placers included Anthony Rubino (fourth at 113), Isaiah Vela (seventh at 138), Keone Derain (fifth at 152) and Will Leite (fourth at 285).
WHAT WE'LL LEARN IN THE WEEK AHEADHow St. Charles North gets back in the groove. Although still fighting the numbers game, North compiled several strong showings entering the holiday break. More challenges await at Friday's Naperville Central quad.
COACH SLY SAYS
Tourney talk isn't just the stuff of March, you know. There are plenty of big wrestling tournaments sandwiched around the holidays, including Marmion's trip to Kaukana, Wis., for this weekend's Cheesehead event.
Cadets coach Ryan Cumbee definitely is getting acquainted with the Sconnies of late. He was in Green Bay for a wedding earlier in the week and had to zip back south for practices ahead of the Cheesehead.